The Right Way to Educate Children to Be Bilingual or Multilingual

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The Right Way to Educate Children to Be Bilingual or Multilingual
The Right Way to Educate Children to Be Bilingual or Multilingual

Making your little one bilingual or multilingual is not impossible, you know. There are several ways that Mom and Dad can try to make it happen. As long as it's done consistently, these ways can help your little one get used to speaking in more than one language

Bilingual is the ability to speak two languages ​​well, while multilingual or also known as plurilingual means being able to speak more than two languages.

The Right Way to Educate Children to Be Bilingual or Multilingual - Alodokter

Several studies say that most bilingual or multilingual children appear to have higher levels of intelligence, when compared to children who only speak one language.

Not only in children, adults who learn foreign languages ​​can also experience an increase in IQ or intelligence level.

Benefits of Raising Children in a Bilingual and Multilingual Environment

There is nothing wrong with Mom and Dad trying to raise their baby in a bilingual or multilingual environment. Apart from allowing your little one to master two languages ​​at once, he or she can also get the following other benefits and advantages:

Easier to learn a new language

Some parents think that if a child is introduced to two languages ​​at once, he or she may become confused and unable to differentiate between the languages. In fact, this assumption is incorrect.

Basically, since a few days after birth, babies can already distinguish many languages. Especially if the language sounds much different, for example English and Indonesian.

Children who are accustomed to hearing two or more languages ​​at home or in the environment will find it easier to learn another language in the future.

This is because children who are raised with several languages ​​have better brain abilities in recognizing and understanding the sounds of a new language than those who come from monolingual or one-language families. This makes it easier for them to learn a new language in the future.

Has a higher level of intelligence

Many studies have revealed that educating children in a bilingual or multilingual environment is not only good for training their language skills, but also helps children's cognitive, intelligence, social development, and communication skills.

In addition, being bilingual or multilingual is also said to help children to be more creative and achieve better academic achievement in school.

How to Make a Child Bilingual or Multilingual

The right time to start introducing and educating children to become bilingual or multilingual is from birth to 3 years of age. At this age, children are easier to absorb, understand, and remember what they hear or see.

If your little one is more than 3 years old, don't be discouraged. Your little one can still be taught the same way and still have the potential to become a child who is able to master more than one language.

To raise a child to be bilingual or multilingual, there are two approaches that Mom and Dad can use, namely:

Second language method at home

The trick, if outside the home the child only uses Indonesian, then Mom and Dad can use a second language at home to communicate, for example English. That way, children will get used to using more than one language.

One parent one language method

The way is, Father uses Indonesian when talking to children, while Mother speaks in other languages, such as English. Do this method during the early years of a child's life. Over time, this habit will make children able to master two languages.

In addition to applying the method above, Mom and Dad can also support it by following some of the tips below:

  • Use tools to introduce a second language to children, such as through books, music, games, and movies.
  • Read storybooks in a second language as part of your little one's bedtime routine.
  • Participate or join a bilingual community. Mothers and Fathers can take their children to play with children from other bilingual families, enroll their little ones in special bilingual education, or hire a baby sitter who can speak a second language.

Educating children to be bilingual or multilingual does require consistency and patience.

Some children who are trained to hear two or more languages ​​since childhood may also experience speech delays. However, this is generally harmless and most likely not due to a disturbance in its development.

If Mom and Dad have difficulty educating children with this method, don't hesitate to consult a psychologist. Psychologists will help Mom and Dad to determine how to educate children in a bilingual manner that is right for the character of the Little One.

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